Kari Gerstheimer, Director of Information and Advice at the learning disability charity Mencap, said:

"The CQC’s report exposing the failures at St Andrews Adolescent Service is long overdue.

"CQC has found this service to be unsafe, poorly led and failing to meet basic standards of care. It is so disappointing that it has deteriorated even further since the last inspection. This has been an ongoing pattern at St Andrews and it is unacceptable that another six months must pass before these major concerns will be looked at again by the regulator. That’s another six months of suffering in these horrendous conditions for the children locked away there.

"The use of seclusion and long-term segregation at St Andrews Adolescent Service is simply unacceptable and a clear violation of patients’ human rights. Patients should be moved immediately to a safe place and the service closed down.

"Children who have a learning disability and/or autism deserve better, they have the right to grow up in homes not hospitals. We have long known that these hospitals are completely inappropriate environments for people with learning disabilities and/or autism and leave them at increased risk of abuse and neglect.

"The practices at St Andrews is far from an isolated incident. More than 2,300 people with learning disabilities and/or autism are still locked away in these ‘modern day asylums’, what we need now is urgent action from the government and NHS England to get on with closing down these hospitals and investing in good quality social care in the community that we know people with a learning disability need and deserve."